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Jul 30, 2010 07:08 AM

Very Sad Goodbye to Michael Batterberry

The co-founder with his wife Ariane of both Food & Wine and Food Arts died in New York yesterday. He was a kind and generous mentor to many in the food business today. To say he will be missed is a huge understatement.

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  1. i thought this was interesting:

    >>>From its inception, the Batterberrys’s publication had two aims: first, to puncture what they saw as the truffled pomposity of Gourmet, the best-known food magazine of the period; and second, to appeal as much to men as to women, who had long been food magazines’ primary readership.

    Adopting a livelier, less reverential tone than Gourmet, the new magazine, which soon began appearing monthly under its shorter, more familiar title, featured articles by prominent writers like George Plimpton and Wilfrid Sheed."""<<<
    was this an insight of the obituary's author, margalit fox, or from some of mr. batterberry's writings -- perhaps a memoir? in any event, i'd be interested to follow up reading more about the subject of the food culture at the inception of gourmet and food & wine, and the business rivalries, strategies, etc. thanks for any help.

    4 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      I'm sorry, I don't have that information.

      1. re: alkapal

        I liked the last line about not being survived by Gourmet Magazine - not often you see a gentle bite of levity in an obituary. I enjoy Food Arts very much - I'm pleased his wife will continue. Sad news to lose an industry leader.

        1. re: alkapal

          There's a great essay by Nora Ephron on the 60's beginnings of the food "revolution" in Molly O'Neill's "American Food Writing" anthology (otherwise worthwhile too). Maybe something in "United States of Arugula"? And you can always read James Beard's "Delights and Prejudices" and Craig Claiborne's "A Feast Made for Laughter" for the earlier stuff.

          1. re: alkapal

            Gourmet started in 1941, so "food culture at the inception" of those two magazines would have been quite different. At its origin, it was very much geared to men as well as women, with lots of hunting, booze, adventurous travel, etc. It was a very different magazine by the time the Batterberry's started Food & Wine--not to mention a different world. You might look for the 60th anniversary issue of Gourmet, published Sept. 2001 (I've seen it on eBay). It contains quite a bit about the food culture through the decades.

          2. I had the privilege on being involved of the revision of "On the Town in New York". It is an amazing book. That book and its release party were the first big foodie experiences I had.